Restaurant News

Crudo Chef Cullen Campbell Talks New Location, Popping His Pop-Up Cherry, His Favorite L.A. Restaurant, and Why He Hates/Loves Getting His Hair Cut

"I try not to think about it," says chef Cullen Campbell, owner and chef of Crudo, who was recently forced out of the Steven Paul Salon, where Crudo made its home on the patio and in-house cafe. "The only problem is I have to go back there to get my hair cut -- you know, she does a really good job."

Oh, yeah, we get that.

After leaving his Scottsdale location last month, Campbell tells me, a new restaurant took over the new space just days later. He says he's glad the salon found someone who would pay what they were asking in rent. (The new eatery is called My Little Café and, unlike Crudo, will be open during salon hours only.)

"I'm enjoying the time off, but I'm getting restless," Campbell says. "I can't wait to get back to something steady, something I can do every day."

For the past few weeks, Campbell's been on the hunt for a new venue, and he thinks he's found one -- in Arcadia.

"I'm hoping to sign the papers next week. It's about as big as Beckett's Table without the back room, but still intimate," Campbell says. "And the kitchen's bigger. It doesn't need a lot of renovations."

Campbell anticipates it will take about three months to get the new Crudo up and running. Until then, he's popping his pop-up cherry at Posh next week (and possibly twice a month after that) followed by a stint at Cycle later this month.

Get the details (and the menus) after the jump.

"I'm a little nervous," Campbell says, then adds, laughing, "Things can literally 'pop-up.' It can be harder because it's not familiar." You have to figure out where all the equipment is -- which burner is lower than the others. I might have one extra person helping, but I like to do everything myself."

Campbell will pop-up at Posh, the Scottsdale restaurant tucked into the Optima Camelview condos, from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday, August 7 and 8. Along with Campbell's signatures like butterfish and albacore and squid ink risotto, he'll be introducing some new dishes as well.

Here's the menu:

Corso 3 Courses 30 | 4 Courses 40 | 5 Courses 50 Select from menu. Price per person

Crudo Butterfish -- lardo, oven-dried tomato, arugula, lemon* 12 Tuna -- quail eggs, smoked olives, lemon* 16 Albacore truffle, apples, black garlic* 12 Fluke -- caper berries, watermelon, chive* 14 Tomato -- tartar style, pickled garlic, arugala 10

Piatti Squid Ink Risotto -- pickled chilies, tuna confit, roasted tomato 16 Pork Belly -- pine nuts, raisins, polenta, sugo 16 Zuppa di pesce -- Grilled tomato brood, bottarga, tuna* 14 Canederli -- shellfish mushrooms, grana brodo 14 Fried eggplant -- grilled mozzarella, salsa rosso 8

Dolce Dessert by Pastry Chef Tracy Dempsey 10

To make reservations, call the new Crudo line at 480-353-8867.

Following the Posh pop-up, on Friday and Saturday, August 19 and 20, Campbell will be at Cycle, the the pop-up venue hidden inside the Lexington Hotel in downtown Phoenix, with a wild menu of diner eats gone crazy (think proscuitto, grits, eggs, and truffles.) To make reservations, go here.

With the new location and pop-up hubbub, Campbell says he'll be looking forward to a trip to L.A. in September for his birthday, where he and his girlfriend will visit his must-go-to restaurant: Pizzeria Mozza.

"I wanted to eat at LudoBites, but couldn't get a reservation," Campbell tells me, "But that's okay, I'll try again. I've planned entire trips around restaurant reservations."

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld